The recently appointed Director of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime, Rose Seretse, said on Monday that a number of their investigations were in the past compromised by the tendency to disclose information on their investigations before approaching the courts of law.
Seretse, who has in the past been accused of withholding information on some of their investigations, said that previous experience taught them to now tread with caution when releasing information to the public, as some of their investigations have in the past been compromised by premature announcements. In the end, the DCEC was forced to wrap up some of their investigations and close the dockets because of insufficient evidence.
“Releasing information on ongoing investigations can be risky for both the media and the DCEC. Some of our cases have in the past been killed even before they could reach the courts of law,” she said.
Seretse also said that there have been instances where investigating officers became overzealous and failed to gather adequate evidence.
“We were forced to close the dockets of such cases because of lack of evidence, a situation which we could have avoided,” she said.
She said pre announcement of cases has a very serious impact on investigations because it alerts suspects and make them hide evidence or sabotage investigations.
One of the high profile cases that the DCEC recently aborted is that of former Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Guma Moyo. The DCEC recently shelved investigations into Moyo’s business dealings, and they have since written him a letter notifying him about that.
“In my term of office I will make sure that no investigations are made public until we register the case with the court of law,” she said.